Smash Disney animated comedy adventure (almost $1 billion worldwide boxoffice). The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it's a melting pot where animals from every environment live together -- a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn't so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde, to solve the mystery. But the case leads these two unlikely partners to an uneasy conclusion that Zootopia's "evolved" society is being pulled apart by unseen forces determined to use fear to take control of the city by turning predators and prey against each other.
Vitals: Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore. Stars: Voices of Jason Bateman, Ginnifer Goodwin, Alan Tudyk, Idris Elba, Bonnie Hunt, Jenny Slate, J.K. Simmons, Shakira, Octavia Spencer.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 108 min., Animated Family, Box office gross: $318.022 million, Disney.Extras: "Scoretopia," in which Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino spotlights five of cinema's greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalistic sound to his music score; "Try Everything" Music Video by Shakira. Blu-ray adds "Zoology: The Roundtables" in-depth look at the movie's characters, animation, environments and more; "The Origin of an Animal Tale" feature-length documentary; "Research: A True-Life Adventure" documenting the filmmakers travels around the globe to find inspiration for the diverse characters and amazing city of Zootopia; "Z.P.D. Forensic Files": Find the movie's hidden Easter Eggs; "Deleted Characters" in which directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore introduce citizens of Zootopia who did not make the final cut; deleted scenes.
Set in Hollywood Golden Age, this very funny comedy/satire follows a single day in the life of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), head of production and all-around problem solver for Hollywood studio Capitol Pictures. When Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), the world's biggest star, is kidnapped in the middle of production on the studio's latest swords-and-sandals epic, Eddie has to recover his leading man while simultaneously appeasing cowboy star Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), disgruntled director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes), swimming sensation DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) and song-and-dance superstar Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum), all while horse-trading information to keep his talents' names out of the gossip columns written by a pair of rival siblings, Thora and Thessaly Thacker (Tilda Swinton). There's plenty of references to 1950s Hollywood, in particular post-WWII MGM: Josh Brolin's character, Eddie Mannix, is based on real-life studio "fixer" Eddie Mannix. Channing Tatum is a stand-in for MGM star Gene Kelly, Scarlett Johansson definitely is a clone of swimmer and MGM star Esther Williams, and Tilda Swinton is a perfect Hedda Hopper, a nasty Hollywood "journalist" who ruled the gossip columns for decades. A couple of sites have taken it upon themselves to annotate the characters in "Hail Caesar!" Check out an annotated "Hail Caesar!" trailer here,a post at Slate, and more comparisons at Den of Geek!.Vitals: Director: Joel and Ethan Coen. Stars: George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Alden Ehrenreich, Frances McDormand.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $30.080 million, Universal.Extras: "Directing Hollywood" behind-the-scenes featurette with the Coen Brothers and the all-star cast; "The Stars Align" featurette with the A-list talent -- George Clooney, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Alden Ehrenreich, and Frances McDormand -- join the Coens to talk about the project, the secrets of the unique and zany characters they play and how the Hollywood of "Hail, Caesar!" differs from the Hollywood they know; "An Era of Glamour" with the film's production designer, costume designer and other key design professionals; "Magic of a Bygone Era": The film features two classic-in-the-making musical numbers: an aquatic spectacle featuring Scarlett Johansson and a rousing tap dance from Channing Tatum. The cast and crew explain the process of bringing these scenes to life, from costumes to choreography and everything in between.
Michael Stone, husband, father and respected author of "How May I Help You Help Them?" is a man crippled by the mundanity of his life. On a business trip to Cincinnati, where he's scheduled to speak at a convention of customer service professionals, he checks into the
Fregoli Hotel. There, he's amazed to discover a possible escape from his desperation in the form of an unassuming Akron baked goods sales rep, Lisa, who may or may not be the love of his life. A beautifully tender and absurdly humorous dreamscape, from the brilliant minds of
Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, this stop-motion animation wonder is a darkly comedic and surreal stop-motion journey of a man's long night of the soul.
Vitals: Director: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman. Stars: Voices of Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Thewlis, Tom Noonan.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 90 min., Comedy-Fantasy, Box office gross: $2.648 million, Paramount.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Ripped from the headlines: As an American ambassador is killed during an attack at a U.S. compound in Libya, a six-man security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos. On Sept. 11, 2012, Islamic militants attack the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, an officer for the Foreign Service. Stationed less than one mile away are members (James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini) of the Annex Security Team, former soldiers assigned to protect operatives and diplomats in the city. As the assault rages on, the six men engage the combatants in a fierce firefight to save the lives of the remaining Americans.
Vitals: Director: Michael Bay. Stars: Pablo Schreiber, John Krasinski, Toby Stephens, James Badge Dale, Max Martini, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 144 min., Action Drama, Box office gross: $52.822 million, Paramount.Extras: "For the Record: Finding the Truth Amid the Noise," "Uncovering Benghazi's Secret Soldiers," "Preparing for Battle: Behind the Scenes of 13 Hours."
The Other Side of the Door
A family lives an idyllic existence abroad until a tragic accident takes the life of their young son. The inconsolable mother learns of an ancient ritual that will bring him back to say a final goodbye, and when she travels to an ancient temple, she discovers a door that serves as a mysterious portal between two worlds. But when she disobeys a sacred warning to never open that door, she upsets the balance between life and death.
Vitals: Director: Johannes Roberts. Stars: Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Javier Botet, Sofia Rosinsky, Jax Malcolm, Logan Creran.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Horror, Box office gross: $2.987 million, Fox.Extras: Six deleted scenes, "Behind the Door" making-of featurette, still gallery.
London Has Fallen
"London Has Fallen" is a very big-budget and special effects laden direct sequel to 2013's "Olympus Has Fallen." Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) and U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) return to take the brunt of more terrorist action, this time in London. An international arms dealer, whose family was slaughtered in a drone strike, sets out to get even with the West and, when every powerful world leader travels to London to attend the funeral of the British Prime Minster, he sets into motion a plan that assassinates all the heads of the Western world (save President Asher) and devastates the British capital. Not knowing who to trust, Banning and Asher make their way to an MI6 safe house while being tracked by hordes of terrorists. Banning is a killing machine, and he'll stop at nothing to secure Asher's safe return home. Its slam bam, straight ahead action with -- thankfully -- little exposition to get in the way of the slaughter. It's a mindless, fun ride, aided and abetted by Morgan Freeman (as the U.S. vice president), Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo and Radha Mitchell. Vitals: Director: Babak Najafi. Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Jackie Earle Haley, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Sean O’Bryan, Charlotte Riley, Waleed F. Zuaiter.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 99 min., Action, Box office gross: $60.755 million, Universal.Extras: "The Making of London Has Fallen," "Guns, Knives & Explosives" delves deeper into Gerard Butler's character of Mike Banning, and the extensive training and preparation the actor needed to play a Secret Service agent.
10 Cloverfield Lane
"10 Cloverfield Lane" has been billed as the "spiritual successor" to 2008's "Cloverfield" but in no way is it a sequel -- it's much, much more. Produced by "Cloverfield's" (and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot company, the film -- linked to the first in the weirdness, fear and comedy "that Cloverfield was born out of" -- is a claustrophobic ride that combines 1950s bomb-shelter deliriums with this decade's apocalyptic fears of destruction. After breaking up with her boyfriend and leaving her home in New Orleans, a young woman, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), is involved in a catastrophic car crash and wakes up in survivalist Howard’s (John Goodman) underground bunker. The man claims to have saved her from an apocalyptic attack that has left the outside world uninhabitable -- either an attack by the "Russkies" or the "Martians" --and his theories are supported by a mysterious stranger, Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), also in the bunker with them, who claims to have witnessed the attack. As the three settle into a humdrum, underground regime, cracks in Howard's story begin to appear, and Michelle begins to question his motives. The only way to uncover the truth is to make it back to the surface, and Michelle concocts an escape plan with Emmett that sets off a wonderful denouement. First time director Dan Trachtenberg has a fine grasp on the fear and paranoia factor inherent in this scenario, and he takes the time to develop the three characters (with all three actors showing off their talents) before pulling out all the action stops. But as with most good films, it's the story that sets the foundation, and the script here by Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken and Damien Chazelle is top notch. This is a quiet little, low-budget gem. Vitals: Director: Dan Trachtenberg. Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min., Sci Fi Horror, Box office gross: $71.455 million, Paramount.Blu-ray extras: Commentary by director Dan Trachtenberg and producer J.J. Abrams, behind-the-scenes footage.
Hello, My Name is Doris
An embarrassingly bad romantic comedy about an older woman (Sally Field) who, after a lifetime of being overlooked and ignored, finds her world turned upside down by a handsome new co-worker and a self-help seminar that inspires her to take a chance on love. The only good thing about this drab fiasco: the much overlooked talents of Tyne Daly, who co-stars as Field's best friend.
Vitals: Director: Michael Showalter. Stars: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Tyne Daly, Natasha Lyonne, Stephen Root, Elizabeth Reaser.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Romantic Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $12.777 million, Sony.Extras: Alternate opening, deleted & extended scenes, filmmaker commentary.
A moving and profound look at marriage and the secrets we keep. There is just one week until Kate Mercer's (Charlotte Rampling) 45th wedding anniversary and the planning for the party is going well. But then a letter arrives for her husband (Tom Courtenay): The body of his first love has been discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. By the time the party is upon them, five days later, there may not be a marriage left to celebrate. The film won a Silver Bear for Best Actress (Charlotte Rampling) and Best Actor (Tom Courtenay) at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Vitals: Director: Andrew Haigh. Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Dolly Wells, David Sibley, Geraldine James, Hannah Chalmers.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Drama, Box office gross: $4.220 million, IFC Films.
Eddie the Eagle
Inspired by true events, "Eddie the Eagle" is the story of Michael "Eddie" Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British underdog ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself -- even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
Vitals: Director: Dexter Fletcher. Stars: Hugh Jackman, Taron Egerton, Christopher Walken, Edvin Endre.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Family Bio-Drama, Box office gross: $15.685 million, Fox.Extras: "Let the Games Begin: Soaring With Eddie the Eagle" documentary: "All or Nothing: The Hero's Heart," "An Unlikely Friendship: Eddie & Peary," "Attitude is Altitude: Filming the Ski Jumps"; still gallery.
The off-beat sci-fi thriller from the director of "Shelter" and "Mud" follows a father, Roy (Michael Shannon), who goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), a boy with powerful and mysterious powers that even Roy himself cannot comprehend. What starts as a race from religious extremists who practically worships him and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government -- with Paul Sevier (Adam Driver) of the National Security Agency leading the Federal pursuit with his own questions. Risking everything, Roy is committed to helping Alton reach his ultimate purpose, whatever that might be and whatever it costs, in a story that takes audiences on a perilous journey from Texas to the Florida coast, while exploring the bonds of love and trust, and the nature of faith.
Vitals: Director: Jeff Nichols. Stars: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher, Sam Shepard.
2015, CC, MPAA rating: Pg-13, 111 min., Sci Fi, Box office gross: $3.642 million, Warner.Extras: Five "Origins" featurettes on Roy, Sarah, Lucas, Sevier and Alton; "The Unseen World" featurette.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
Parenting and marriage are becoming tougher and tougher for Toula (Nia Vardalos) and her husband Ian. Not only has their relationship lost some of its spark, but they're also dealing with a rebellious teenage daughter who clashes with Greek traditions. Still working in her parents' Greek restaurant, daughter Paris is growing up and is getting ready to graduate high school. Toula must also contend with aging parents and the endless needs of cousins and friends. When Toula's parents find out they were never officially married, another wedding is in the works. Can this big, fat, Greek event help to bring the family together?
Vitals: Director: Kirk Jones. Stars: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, Elena Kampouris, Alex Wolff, Rita Wilson, Andrea Martin, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 94 min., Romantic comedy, Box office gross: $58.155 million, Universal.Extras: "My Big Fat Greek Dinner" making-of featurette, "Making the Greekquel" behind-the-scenes featurette, gag reel.
Knight of Cups
Follows writer Rick (Christian Bale) on an odyssey through the playgrounds of Los Angeles and Las Vegas as he undertakes a search for love and self. Even as he moves through a desire-laden landscape of mansions, resorts, beaches and clubs, Rick grapples over complicated relationships with his brother (Wes Bentley) and father (Brian Dennehy). His quest to break the spell of his disenchantment takes him on a series of adventures with six alluring women: rebellious Della (Imogen Poots); his physician ex-wife, Nancy (Cate Blanchett); a serene model Helen (Freida Pinto); a woman he wronged in the past Elizabeth (Natalie Portman); a spirited, playful stripper Karen (Teresa Palmer); and an innocent Isabel (Isabel Lucas), who helps him see a way forward. Rick moves in a daze through a strange and overwhelming dreamscape -- but can he wake up to the beauty, humanity and rhythms of life around him? The deeper he searches, the more the journey becomes his destination.
Read more at http://www.comingsoon.net/movie/knight-of-cups-2016#BUbHJKH68cevHGQh.99
Vitals: Director: Terrence Malick. Stars: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas, Teresa Palme, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Freida Pinto, Cherry Jones.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 118 min., Drama, Box office gross: $451,655 million, Broad Green Pictures.
The Brothers Grimsby
Dimwitted English football hooligan Nobby (Sacha Baron Cohen) has everything a man from Grimsby could want, including 11 children and the most gorgeous girlfriend in the northeast of England (Rebel Wilson). There's only one thing missing: his little brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong), who Nobby has spent 28 years searching for after they were separated as kids. Nobby sets off to reunite with Sebastian, unaware that not only is his brother MI6's deadliest assassin, but he's just uncovered plans for an imminent global terrorist attack. On the run and wrongfully accused, Sebastian realizes that if he is going to save the world, he will need the help of its biggest idiot.
Vitals: Director: Louis Leterrier. Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Isla Fisher, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Scott Adkins, Gabourey Sidibe.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 83 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $6.864 million, Sony.Extras: "The Making of The Brothers Grimsby," "Line-O-Rama: Hilarious Outtakes." Blu-ray adds "The Elephant in the Room" featurette, blooper reel, deleted & extended scenes.
Kung Fu Panda 3
When Po's long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible-learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas. Vitals: Director:
Alessandro Carloni, Jennifer Yuh Nelson. Stars: Voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Bryan Cranston, Rebel Wilson, J.K. Simmons, Kate Hudson, Wayne Knight.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 95 min., Animated Family, Box office gross: $141,654 million, DreamWorks/Fox.Extras: "Everybody Loves a Panda Party" sing-along with Po and the entire cast; "Po's Posters of Awesomeness"; "Panda Paws" exclusive animated tale with talented panda ribbon dancer Mei Mei starring with Bao; "Make a Panda Party Paper Pal" using the mystic art of paper folding; "Play Like a Panda" featurette about real baby pandas, their amazing lives, and their remarkable playful ways; The Origin of Skadoosh" in which Po reveals the extra-super-secret origin of his world-famous catchphrase; "Faux Paws Deleted Scenes."
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Based on real-life reporter Kim Barker’s revealing and funny memoir ("The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan)" about covering the war beat in the Middle East. A satirical take on combat journalists and an illuminating story of self-discovery, the film follows Kim (Tina Fey) as she decides to shake things up by taking a dangerous assignment in Afghanistan. There, in the midst of chaos, Kim discovers her true strength as she risks it all to find the next big story.
Vitals: Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa. Stars: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $23.049 million, Paramount.Blu-ray extras: "All In: The Making of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot"; "War Reporter: The Real Kim"; "Embedded in Reality" featurette on how the military played a pivotal role in bringing the movie to life; "Wedding Party" featurette on the rich Afghan culture and the joyous wedding celebration from the film; "Laughing Matters" featurette on how the characters relied on drinking, partying and other vices to cope with the constant threat of danger; deleted scenes; extended scene.
Eye in the Sky
Helen Mirren stars as Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing, and the mission escalates from "capture" to "kill." But as American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a 9-year old girl enters the kill zone, triggering an international dispute reaching the highest levels of the U.S. and British governments over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare.
Vitals: Director: Gavin Hood. Stars: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Iain Glen, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi, Phoebe Fox.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 102 min., Thriller/Drama, Box office gross: $11.098 million, Universal.Extras: "Perspective" featurette in which Helen Mirren, director Gavin Hood and producer Colin Firth explain how the film serves as a mechanism for discussion on the moral conflict surrounding drone warfare; "Morals" featurette in which Mirren, Hood, and producer Colin Firth discuss the moral and ethical questions raised in the film.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.